Har Ki Dun ( Valley of the Gods) Valley is situated below Fateh Parvat and is one of the most beautiful valleys in the Himalayas of Gharwal. The most popular route for trekkers to visit this place is via Govind National Park. The trekkers can see a wide variety of birds, insects, flowers and animals including musk deer, wild goats and many more in addition to numerous glaciers, mountain streams, alpine forests and wide rolling meadows on the way. It’s an easy trek and although some experience of trekking will be helpful, it’s not really required and thus can be attempted by anyone in good health.
DAY 1: Arrival at Sankri
Depending upon starting location, Rishikesh, Dehradun etc. we’ll reach Sankri village (altitude 2000 m) by evening and rest for rest of the day after some local sightseeing. Sankri is around 5 hours drive from Rishikesh and 7 hours from Dehradun. From here we’ll be able to get a bit of close look on high snow covered peaks of Himalayan mountains. We’ll stay in our camp site or a small guesthouse for the night.
DAY 2 : Sankri to Seema via Taluka
The mornings in this region are almost always cold. So after a good breakfast and a cup of hot chai, we’ll start our trek by walking to Taluka, another small hamlet 12 kms away. It should take around 4 hours and we’ll have our lunch there. After a bit of rest, we’ll resume walking again and reach Seema village (altitude 2700 m)about 14 km away. Trekking on this stretch is very scenic with a number of wild plant species including roses, deodar, chestnut making the surroundings colourful. If covering 26 km in a day seems too much, this day can be extended in to two with an overnight stay in Sankri and next in Taluka. We can also stop near a waterfall on way to Taluka for the night.
DAY 3: Taluka to Osla
Our next destination will be Osla, another small hamlet in between the majestic wilderness of Himalayas. We may encounter some elusive wild animals like wild boar, leopard, deer and numerous species of big and small birds. On he way, we’ll stop at Dhatmir village for rest and lunch. The walk will be quite pleasant with views of lush green forests, hundreds of blooming colourful flowers, butterflies and wild orchids. We;ll put up our tents in the evening and rest for the night after a hearty dinner.
DAY 4: Osla To Har Ki Dun
This day will be the day of reckoning as we pack up our campsite at Osla to trek towards our destination, Har Ki Dun. It’s around 11 km away from Osla and takes about 5 hours. The terrain and sights will remain just about the same but with the addition of views of some majestic glaciers like Swargarohini and Juandar visible at an altitude of 6200 m. We’ll set up our campsite on reaching our campsite and spend the rest of day enjoying the sights of majestic Himalayan mountains and forests around us. A free day at Har Ki dun for some local exploration is usually recommended for rest and proper Himalayan experience. There is a lot to see and explore in this area including mountain streams, meadows, countless species of flora and fauna and so on. Sunrise and sunset are specially beautiful and memorable.
Osla will be our first stop on our journey back. We can also walk further till Taluka if weather permits and the travelers are fit enough. By this time, the route is familiar and there is more appreciation of the sights and wonders we are leaving behind. If desired, we may also take some shortcuts, which are a bit difficult to cover, but reduce the travel time by a hour or more. But it’s not advisable for everyone.
DAY 6: Osla to Sankri
If our previous stop was at Osla, the trek to Sankri will be 26 km long and will take around 8-9 hours. We’ll have to leave early morning to reach our campsite at Sankri before daylight fades. This night will be our last night in a campsite under the stars and we’ll enjoy it to the fullest by arranging a bonfire.
DAY 7: Drive back to Rishikesh, Dehradun etc.
Say good bye to the cool Himalayan mountains of Gharwal and get in to the car for journey back to “civilisation”.